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Dixon | 2017 NFL Draft AFC South Short Takes

APR 27 2017 NFL Draft
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

NFL Draft

Dixon | 2017 NFL Draft AFC South Short Takes

Houston Texans

The Texans look to be the cream of the crop in the AFC South. They also paid for the new face of their franchise when they aggressively traded up to choose quarterback Deshaun Watson. Houston is the perfect place for Watson, since he can spread the ball to play makers like Deandre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Lamar Miller while using his “winning mindset” to make a play in key moments of the game.

Drafting LB Zach Cunningham in the 2nd round was also a great value because he fits the new prototype of LBs that are fast to flow. He should immediately step in to chase down ball carriers all over the field. In the 3rd round they selected RB D’Onta Foreman, who runs physically down hill and can keep the chains moving when Lamar Miller is not in the game.

Both of the Texans’ 4th round picks, offensive tackle Julian Davenport and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins, could become starters but at the moment are developmental players.

Davenport may become a key protector of QB Deshaun Watson if he learns how to effectively use his long arms to his advantage. Watkins exploded in big games at Clemson but did not show the stamina to consistently dominate. Inserting him in the rotation of one of the better defensive lines in the NFL for limited reps is a good idea.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tom Coughlin is now running things in Jacksonville. Based on their first two picks, Leonard Fournette and Cam Robinson, the Jaguars’ plan moving forward is clearly to run the ball. Blake Bortles has underwhelmed thus far but the organization is hoping he is ready for a breakout season. A few ways to help a QB? Create a running game and play good defense to maintain good field position.

The Jaguars already have a young, formidable defense with Jalen Ramsey, Telvin Smith, Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue. But now they are adding to their running game to further compliment their style of play.

Leonard Fournette’s running style demands running lanes to be made by the offensive line. His true dominance is shown once he breaks through the second level and is against defensive backs. There he can use his strength to either run them over or throw them away.

Adding the athletic brawler of Cam Robinson will help Fournette and the Jaguars’ running game tremendously. For the past of couple seasons, the Jaguars have been adding pieces to win NOW. If that doesn’t come, look for the team to take a hard look at QB next year.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans decided to continue to invest in their QB, Marcus Mariota, when they selected Corey Davis at pick 5. Davis has the potential to carry the passing game of the offense because he is quick in and out of his breaks, he has the diversity to play inside and outside and because he is from a smaller program he plays with a chip on his shoulder.

With the 18th pick Tennessee selected another dynamic athlete in DB Adoree’ Jackson. His immediate role should be in zone coverage as he develops his man to man technique. He instantly becomes one of the most athletic players in the NFL.

The Titans once again invested in a weapon for Marcus Mariota, selecting WR Taywan Taylor in the 3rd round. Taylor also has the diversity to line up outside or inside and provides that big play potential after the catch. He was another small school prospect that is ready to prove to the NFL that he belongs.

With their other 3rd round pick, the Titans selected Jonnu Smith from FIU: another athletic TE from this deep TE class. Smith was not talked about as much as the other high TE prospects but he has route running quickness, stable hands and works hard when blocking.

The Titans’ 7th round pick of outside linebacker Josh Carraway was a good value. He has issues giving consistent effort but his natural athleticism is intriguing. If they can unlock his potential, then he could become a great pass rusher for them.  This class can go a long way in the challenging for an AFC South division title.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts drafted heavy on defense early in an effort to get back to contending in the AFC South, selecting safety Malik Hooker in the 1st, defensive back Quincy Wilson in the 2nd and defensive end Tarell Basham in the 3rd. Hooker’s range and ball skills have the potential to immediately improve the Colts’ status as an ineffective turnover defense.

Quincy Wilson will continue to develop his press man technique and should become a quality starter.

Basham plays consistently hard while executing incredible hand quickness and hip rotation to keep the blocker disengaged from him.

The Colts selected running back Marlon Mack in the 4th round, he could become a starting running back because of his big play potential.

Then Indianapolis selected offensive tackle Zach Banner in the 4th round to help their running game. I do not like this pick due to some poor effort and a lack of leverage as a blocker. These are key issues, he should have slid deeper in the draft. Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck was sacked too many times; adding a low effort, low technique pass blocker doesn’t help that situation.

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Roger Dixon Jr

Roger is a native of Orlando, FL. After excelling in DII football his first 2 seasons, he fulfilled his lifelong dream of playing on the Florida Gators football team, where he was named Special Teams Player of the Year and Team Captain. He earned his degree in Economics from UF's Warrington College of Business. Roger brings a passion for football and unique perspective of what it takes to be successful in football at the highest level.

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